Mara's memories and morning run
Mara stretched her hooves out as she settled down for the night, her house was often kept cold due to Eira's preferences. Though Mara did not mind, tonight she had a blanket wrapped around her to keep the chill away. It had been a long day at the shop helping Eira and Terra. She had volunteered to assist but did not realize how much work there was to be done. Parts of her were sore, that she didn't even know existed in all her years of training. Looking out at the night sky, the dark Enivi planned to wake up early to stretch and go for a run. Closing her eyes, she settled down and fell into a deep sleep. When Mara opened her eyes again, she saw her child self in front of her. She quickly realized this was a dream or a memory, she was not sure which, but it wasn't real anymore regardless. The dark foal was crying to itself and the feeling of sadness hit her like a brick. She remembered this day, it was her birthday and her parents had promised to be home, they were not. Poor little Mara had waited up all night for them to show and they never did. The scene changed to the center of her town, again with her child self in the middle. Other townies had gathered around the figure and were poking fun at it. Laughing about "how even her parents did not like her" and that their not showing up was proof. Little Mara had given up defending herself from the criticism long ago. Though she loved her parents and admired them, she no longer knew if they loved her, so she couldn't speak against the cruel words. The spectacle lasted for a while, adults and children alike harassing her. A thought hit Mara as she watched the scene, her face painted with deep pain, "they hated me simply because I was different, pathetic".
She remembered coming to this town with her parents, both of whom also had dark fur with bright red eyes. It was a trait that showed through from a long-lost ancestry of a warrior tribe. During this time, due to so few having the trait it was feared. In fact, even in her adult life, Mara has faced backlash and stares because of it, though rarely so in the large city where she lives. She blames it on the lack of education in some of the remote villages she and Eira went to before settling here. When her family first moved to the town, her parents were always around, they stayed in the town with her for many moons and seasons. They trained her and taught her, but once she got old enough to function on her own, they began to take jobs. These jobs had them leave the village for moons at a time and when they were gone this harassment was a regular occurrence. Mara gave a gentle smile, she remembered what came next. Out of nowhere, a beautiful blue Enivi stood in front of the small figure in the middle of the crowd. "You all should be ashamed of yourself for picking on this child," the strange enivi roared at the crowd. Somewhere within the crowd, another enivi responded, "Khione, we all know you have a kind heart, but that child is born from evil, just look at it!"
The blue body in front of young Mara moved to cover her more, "You believe that only because she is different, yet me and mine look nothing like you, and you leave us alone, why? Because we are within your bounds of acceptably different?" The crowd remains silent and fidgets uncomfortable, so the angry Khione speaks again, flashing her fangs as she does so, "You wouldn't dare say those words with the child's parents around, but you take advantage because they are off fighting monsters. They are off protecting US, yet this is how you treat their child? I dare you to try this again while I am around! It will not end pretty for you." With that, the young Mara is being nudged out of the crowd. "Follow me, little one," the blue Enivi says and begins to walk towards a different-looking house. Unlike all the others which were made from trees and bushes woven together, this one was made of stone. Mara followed closely behind, still shaken from the crowd.
When they reach the house, the Enivi stops, "My name is Khione, though I am sure you have figured that out, I am sorry for them being so cruel... to be honest, their fear blinds them, not that that is an excuse." With that, she opens the door and ushers her in, when Mara enters the home, she wakes up to the sun beaming in. A small smile still gracing her lips, she would forever be grateful to Khione, Eira's mother for helping her that day. Though she still carries scars from the cruelty of those in that town, she also knows how to be kind and to respect others. After that incident, Khione asked Mara's parents that when they leave they drop Mara off with her. They agreed, as they had had no clue this was happening to the poor child and were horrified, but unable to move due to their current job. Mara never blamed them, even as a child understood how important their job was. Yet, she never wants to do that to another being, so she rarely connects with others. Still reminiscing about Khione and the time in her childhood home, Mara began to make the tea that the older female would brew for the trio during their storytime. She was going on a run shortly to stretch her sore muscles and knew she would be grateful for the warmth when she came back.
Once the tea was brewed, Mara set off on her run. Her pace was what most would consider grueling, but she did not mind. With her work as a warrior, she did this on the regular, at minimum she ran every other day. Though in good weather, she preferred to run every day. Her course took her out of the city and through the woods that surrounds them. It was here she felt the most comfortable and enjoyed looking around at all the unique foliage that seemed to change day to day.
As she ran, she saw a small figure darting through the undergrowth and slowed down, it was her familiar. A rather lithe calico which she had rescued from a tree. The Kalli would participate in about a quarter of the run once Mara entered the forest and then go back to their home. Though Mara never figured out where the Kalli was in the morning, she figured it was out and about hunting. The strange creature was still a little feral and though it loves Mara, it tolerated everyone else at best. It also seemed to get stressed if it was stuck in the house for too long. Mara didn't mind though, she appreciated the company and the creature was an amazing travel companion when she went on her adventures.
Focusing back on the run, Mara noticed that the calico streak had disappeared and was shocked at how long she had already been running. She felt the ground shift beneath her as the ground texture changed, she knew she would reach the lake soon. Mara steadied her speed again and began to jump over a set of fallen trees she used as obstacles. She was about halfway done with her run now and her muscles were starting to feel better. The light in the sky let her know that Eira would probably be awake soon, so she should hurry home if she wanted breakfast. It was family breakfast day, which meant Eira, Mara, Delphi, Terra, and his mate Sylvan all sat down to have breakfast at the house. Mara ran past the part of the woods that Drogo normally hung out in and hollered a hello. She had no idea if he was there or not but nonetheless yelled it to be polite.
She could finally see the city again after a while and went back to the grueling pace she had started at. Luckily for her, the city hadn't truly woken up yet, so there was no one who she could possibly run into. When she got closer to the house, she saw Terra and Sylvan waiting outside for someone to open the door and she greeted them slowing down to a light jog, "What's up boys?"
"Hey Mara, how was the run?" Terra asked turning to see the large Ortusi run towards him.
"What's up girly?" Sylvan responds back as well.
"The run was great! A good morning for it, I am hungry though, so let's head on in!" She gets to the door and opens it for them.
Eira was there in the kitchen when they entered. Though she greeted them with a groggy wave and little Delphi had moved from her bed to the couch but looked to be back asleep. *Like mother like daughter* Mara thought with a chuckle remembering that Khione was the same way. She looked around and was grateful she had these people, they were her family and she wouldn't want it any other way.
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